Monday, June 15, 2009

Living the island lifestyle in Bermuda

Click here for pictures of BermudaTo sum up Bermuda: it’s nice here!  Flying in over the turquoise  waters, seeing an odd tall ship sailing in, and then the rainbow of pastel-coloured houses with their white roofs gleaming in the sun, we were pretty excited to be heading towards sun & sand after the cold weather in New Zealand.

Julie’s sister Chantal had been bugging Julie about not visiting her during our around-the-world voyage, however it was Chantal who almost missed the visit due to an off-island volleyball tournament.

Chantal and Rob had a bunch of events lined up for us over the weekend, which turned out to be a long weekend for the Queen’s birthday.  Julie & I had one day to recuperate from the jet lag and relax on the beach before the parties began.

Bermuda was playing host to the Tall Ships this weekend and it put the whole place in a festive mood, along with jamming the place up with tourists. I was pretty happy to see the big boats in the harbour, but since nobody else was all that interested we didn’t go aboard to take more in-depth looks. But they were impressive, sitting in Hamilton harbour with their flags waving.

Tall ships

To visit Bermuda is a good time. Lots to see and do and the people are nice.  To live in Bermuda is a good time too, as from what we found a lot of peoples’ (expats) jobs are pretty slack, after work is golf or drinks, weekends are out on a boat with drinks, or floating in the water with drinks, or out on the beach, with drinks. We came from NZ where pub-culture is alive and well, but these folks give them a run for their money!  Needless to say, that’s what our weekend entailed for the most part.

The ritzy Princess Hotel plays host to an after-work garden party on Fridays where we got to sample the Bermudian drinks of “swizzle” (rum punch) and a “dark’n’stormy” (dark rum with ginger beer).  As the night progressed Julie started ordering swizzles with an extra shot of rum for good measure. By the time we met up with Rob and his mates at the Pickled Onion, we’d swizzled enough.Bobbing along, beer in hand

Saturday saw us sailing on the Sally Bum Bum for another typical Bermudian scene.  The rains spared us in our little bay and it was pretty fun hanging out on the boat, or in the water floating on noodles. It’s weird how drained you feel after an afternoon of floating around drinking beer, but we were knackered when we got home. Which is a good thing becuase we needed to rest up for tomorrow’s volleyball tournament.

Now Chantal plays volleyball seriously as a member of Bermuda’s national team. So she’s good. The rest of us (myself, Julie and Rob) don’t count volleyball among our skill sets. So as the DesBrownskis took to the sands for the beach volleyball tournament we weren’t expecting to do well, at all.  But we managed to pull off a couple wins and occasionally showed good form, coordinating with each other to complete the 3 hits per volley.  Regardless it was a great day on a great beach (Horseshoe Bay) and sweet as to jump into the azul waters to cool off betweens sets. And to wash the sand off.


We capped off our Bermudian vacation with a BBQ at Chantal & Rob’s place. Andrew caught up with an old roommate (Nicole) from university who’s now an islander and learned that there are a bunch of Winnipeggers who’ve decided accounting in Bermuda is better than at home.

As the Tall Ships sailed on, so did we – starting our journey back south of the equator to Ecuador.

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